Lions and Lambs

March can’t make up its mind if it’s going out like a lion or a lamb, at least here in Portland. We’ve had bouts of sunshine today interspersed with rumbling thunder and heavy rain. It’s sunny as I write this but I see ominous clouds rolling in.

No matter. I’m happily ensconced in my sewing room working on a kaleidoscope quilt based on the block Grandma’s Surprise. It’s homework. I’m taking a class from Joyce Gieszler, whose book Then and Now Quilts (published last year by Kansas City Star Quilts) features a very scrappy quilt based on this block.

Joyce created a second version of Grandma’s Surprise using just three fabrics:

Grandma's Surprise, Joyce Gieszler, 2 of 3
Grandma’s Surprise, designed and made by Joyce Gieszler, 36″ square (2013)


That’s my inspiration for the red, black, and pale grey quilt I’m making. The quilt has nine blocks, and I’m midway through the fifth block. Want to see my progress so far? Of course you do.

The quilt is based on a 3 x 3 grid: three rows and three columns. In the photo below you see the center block and the block directly above it:

Grandma's Surprise, blocks 2 and 5
Blocks 2 and 5


Now I’ve added two blocks (Blocks 1 and 4) that go to the left of the first set:

Grandma's Surprise, blocks 1,2,4,5
Blocks 1 and 2 (first row) and Blocks 4 and 5 (second row)

You are looking at the upper left portion of the quilt. Can you see how the pale grey triangles in the outer blocks are starting to give the effect of a circle?

Here’s where I am with the fifth block, which goes in the Block 3 position in the upper right corner:

Grandma's Surprise, block in progress
Under Construction: Block 3


I’m going back upstairs to sew. I hope you’ll come back soon to see the rest of my quilt!




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7 Responses to Lions and Lambs

  1. Sandy Vick says:

    Wow! Wow! Wow!

  2. Diane says:

    Looks like your March went out like a lion in your sewing room! Yet another lovely interpretation of another quilter’s design.

  3. Jennifer B says:

    Dawn, I really love your red, white, and gray color combo. It looks stunning!

  4. Thelma says:

    Love this pattern, I’ve ordered the book! This may not be the next quilt on my list but I plan to get to it very soon! Thanks so much for sharing!!

  5. Lookin’ good so far! I’m totally into making a bit larger and trimming down. Once I mentioned that in a class and the instructor said, “That would be for people who are insecure about their quarter-inch seams.” Yep, that would be me. (Instructor was a math teacher. 🙂 )

    • Dawn says:

      I’m pretty secure about my quarter-inch seams but I know that I press with a heavy hand, and there’s usually some distortion. I love it when pieces of a block go together perfectly because they were cut to size before being joined.

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